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HTLAL Book Club 2015

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Serpent
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Russian Federation
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 Message 33 of 69
17 December 2014 at 11:45pm | IP Logged 
Cavesa wrote:
However, I don't understand the note about there not being much available in the language. That doesn't apply to Czech at all and it sounds a little offensive.

I basically bought the book because a couple of years ago this was the only one adapted according to Ilya Frank's method, so in this sense there are less learning materials available for Czech here. By now I also have Čapek's "stories from one pocket" though, also Ilya Frank's method.
Sorry, I certainly know there's a lot to read when I can go into native materials unassisted! I mostly asked the question in general, I guess for the first time I truly understood, for example, why many people of colour can't "just relax and enjoy" Tolkien. I think we generally don't acknowledge this downside of many older or especially public domain books.

Edited by Serpent on 17 December 2014 at 11:50pm

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garyb
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 Message 34 of 69
18 December 2014 at 10:33am | IP Logged 
Expugnator wrote:

I've read a lot of books in French throughout this year, including many contemporary
novels which always help me learn a little about daily life in France. I don't like
reading books with a story that takes place before the 70's, at least that's not my
priority. I want to employ literature as a means of understanding how people live in
today's world... but for now my priority is to imagine myself as someone who crosses
the streets of the countries where my studied languages are spoken.


Do you have any particular recommendations? This is exactly the sort of thing I'm
looking for, and I looked at your log but the list is a bit long. I've not heard of
most of the books so I'm not sure where to start. I loved the Houellebecq book I read
and plan to read more, but at the same time, slightly less pessimistic stuff would be
nice for balance :)
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eyðimörk
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France
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 Message 35 of 69
18 December 2014 at 11:07am | IP Logged 
Expugnator wrote:
J'ai lu plusieurs livres en français pendant cette année, parmi lesquels beaucoup de romains contemporains qui m'aident toujours à apprendre un peu sur la vie quotidienne en France. Je n'aime pas lire des livres dont l'histoire se déroule avant les années 1970, au moins ce n'est pas ma priorité. Je veux utiliser la littérature pour comprendre comment vivent les gens dans le monde d'aujourd'hui.

D'après mes observations la vie quotidienne en France est intimement connectée à des événements qui se sont passés avant l'année 1970. Comme je suis née pendant les années 1980, moi, j'aimerais que ce soit différent — il y aurait beaucoup moins pour moi à apprendre — mais, les Français sont bien plus connectés à leur histoire que nous les Suédois, par exemple. Peut-être si vous ne voulez rencontrer que des jeunes dans les villes sans engagement politique...

Bien, enfin, je ne veux pas dire que vous avez tort de ne pas lire des histoires qui ne vous intéressent pas. Pas du tout. Mais si vous vous êtes passé de ces histoires parce que vous préférez « comprendre les Français d'aujourd'hui » je crois, sincèrement, que vous vous trompez.


---
Edit: Since a translation/synopsis wouldn't help anyone to learn anything about books, which was the stated purpose for the requirement, the original post ended above the dashes.

For the curious, however: I am stating that my personal experience is that contemporary French daily life is inextricably linked with events that occurred before 1970, and if one is avoiding literature dealing with anything older with the explicit purpose of "modern" understanding French life one is probably shooting oneself in the foot. That said, I am not trying to convince anyone to read about older events if they dislike doing so, and I'm sure there are some social circles where one can ignore history altogether.

Edited by eyðimörk on 18 December 2014 at 11:45am

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patrickwilken
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Germany
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 Message 36 of 69
18 December 2014 at 11:34am | IP Logged 
eyðimörk wrote:

D'après mes observations la vie quotidienne en France est intimement connectée à des événements qui se sont passés avant l'année 1970.


It's lovely to see French written, but please also write a bit of your post in English too so we can all participate in the conversation!
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eyðimörk
Triglot
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France
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 Message 37 of 69
18 December 2014 at 12:01pm | IP Logged 
patrickwilken wrote:
It's lovely to see French written, but please also write a bit of your post in English too so we can all participate in the conversation!

Certainly!

If the English explanation part applies to non-book reviews/recommendations, I'll save myself the time and just reply in English in the future.
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patrickwilken
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 Message 38 of 69
18 December 2014 at 12:09pm | IP Logged 
eyðimörk wrote:

For the curious, however: I am stating that my personal experience is that contemporary French daily life is inextricably linked with events that occurred before 1970, and if one is avoiding literature dealing with anything older with the explicit purpose of "modern" understanding French life one is probably shooting oneself in the foot. That said, I am not trying to convince anyone to read about older events if they dislike doing so, and I'm sure there are some social circles where one can ignore history altogether.


I think that also applies to other literatures. Its hard to understand the modern world if you don't take into account events from the 1950s-1960s into account (for instance).

I very much enjoyed reading the German translation of the Dharma Bums (Gammler, Zen und hohe Berge) by Jack Kerouac this year, which was written in 1958 - and helps frame for me some of the changes in the Zeitgeist that occurred in the 1960s

What are the essential French books from 1950s and 1960s that you need to read to help understand the events of 1968?

Edited by patrickwilken on 18 December 2014 at 12:11pm

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Ogrim
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 Message 39 of 69
18 December 2014 at 3:36pm | IP Logged 
patrickwilken wrote:
What are the essential French books from 1950s and 1960s that you need to read to help understand the events of 1968?


I am no expert on the May 1968 movement, but from what I know obvious names are Jean-Paul Sartre, Marguerite Duras (who took an active part on the barricades of the 68-movement) and the science fiction writer René Barjavel (link to French Wikipedia article). There are also non-fiction works of great importance such as La société du spectacle by film maker and writer Guy Debord.

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eyðimörk
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France
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 Message 40 of 69
18 December 2014 at 5:44pm | IP Logged 
patrickwilken wrote:
I think that also applies to other literatures. Its hard to understand the modern world if you don't take into account events from the 1950s-1960s into account (for instance).

It's certainly all connected, and I am all for taking that perspective on things. However, my experience in France has been very different from my experience elsewhere (living in Sweden, living in Scotland, understanding US and UK media).

I could probably spend all day talking about historical references, not even evident as historical references, that I've had to Google just to understand anything ranging from smack-talk about politicians to a Facebook comments about my village's Christmas lights. It ranges from referencing a 17th century event with an item of clothing at a demonstration to 1970s political slogans dropped in a completely different context in mixed company, much of which cannot remember the 1970s. Luckily for all of us, I'm heading out to the cinema in an hour, or I'd talk your ears off. And you don't want to hear my talk on how the revolution is not a past event but a present state of being. ;)

If someone wants to follow political and social developments in France throughout the second half of the 20th century, in a single work of fiction, I recommend Une vie française by Jean-Paul Dubois. It goes from 1958 to 2004. A few words of warning, though: it's well written and has won prizes, but if you require a positive outlook and a sympathetic main character, you won't find them here. The main character, whose life is chronicled, is also male and a teenager during the 1960s, and so there's (stereotypically) a section of the book where he's really quite preoccupied with sensations related to his own genitalia.

Edited by eyðimörk on 18 December 2014 at 5:48pm



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